Reflections on sobriety
March 9, 2018
For the past few years I've been on a journey to become sober.
It may come as a surprise if you know me; I have what most people would
call my "shit together." I have a vibrant career, I pay my bills, I save
money fervently, and have an incredible support network of beautiful
friends. He mustn't have a problem.
By most accounts I don't have a problem. I've historically drank far less
than most of my peers. I go to bed early most nights. I don't find myself
saying "let's get one more" or "I could use another." I haven't kept
alcohol in my home in years.
But I do have a problem. I have a problem with living this one precious
life with anything less than my full attention. I have a problem with the
idea that I might spend several hours one night in a state of malaise and
stupor, engaged in conversations about nothing around a table doing
nothing at all, only to wake up covered in my own sweat recovering for
hours the next morning.
I have a problem with spending a single moment more of my life in that
faded state. I have a problem with constricting my mind and poisoning my
body and drowning my spirit all in the pursuit of muting the voice deep
down within me that's screaming up and out for love and connection and
touch and intimacy. That voice that's begging me to be more vulnerable. To
show myself to others.
I have a problem with the idea that ingesting a poison is normal. That
it's how we socialize. That it helps loosen us on dates. That it gives us
courage. That it's fun to drink. It's not. It's fun to spend time with
friends. Alcohol hitches itself to your fun experience and drags its feet
along the ground screaming at you:
"YOU'RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH WITHOUT ME."
"DON'T YOU WANT TO HAVE A GOOD TIME?"
"I'LL HELP YOU RELAX."
"YOU'LL NEVER FIND A GIRLFRIEND WITHOUT ME."
"COME ON, IT'S EASIER THIS WAY."
But it's not easier. Alcohol forges a path of hardship, confusion,
emotional distress, poor physical health, abusive behavior, malaise,
lethargy, and financial ruin. It was never fun.